April 13th, 2011 | by BETH SLOVIC News | Posted In: Politics, City Hall

City Hall: The Agenda Behind the Agenda, April 13

Portland City Council March 16Portland City Council last month

Topics on the agenda at Portland City Hall this morning include an update on the Bike Plan for 2030, a $105,000 pay claim, additional city funding for Hooper Detox and a $50,000 grant for Janus Youth Programs.

Here's a breakdown:

Bike Plan for 2030: More than a year ago, on Feb. 11, 2010, city officials led by Mayor Sam Adams approved a largely unfunded master plan for improving bike infrastructure in the city. The 17-page update attached to today's agenda (at the link above) contains data on the city's new bike-parking corrals, bike boxes and "neighborhood greenways," bike lanes that incorporate bioswales and other features. Not in the report? Any mention of city budget officials' request that transportation officials refine the plan's estimated $600 million cost.

"FPD [financial planning division] continues to recommend that PBOT [Portland Bureau of Transportation] refine the plan’s total costs, including soft costs and staffing implications and to form and staff the bicycle funding task force which was to have been created shortly after the February 2010 resolution," an internal budget analysis reads. "The bureau needs to develop higher confidence cost estimates and secure funding streams in order to avoid adding to future risks in the financial forecast. Both FPD and the bureau’s own financial analysts, in addition to representatives from BES [Bureau of Environmental Services] and other partner bureaus should be included as members of the task force."

The $105,000 pay claim: In November 2008, Southwest Portland resident Priscilla Seaborg reported a sinkhole in her backyard, according to city records. Portland officials initially claimed the sinkhole was the result of a sewer pipe that didn't belong to the city but instead belonged to Multnomah County, which had apparently installed the pipe before Seaborg's property was annexed to the city in 1964. When Seaborg couldn't reach a financial settlement with the city for repairing the damaged area in her yard, she filed a lawsuit. About half of today's $105,000 settlement comes from the city's insurance fund. The rest comes from the Bureau of Environmental Services. The city argues it potentially would have been liable for even bigger damages had the lawsuit gone forward.

Hooper Detox: The City of Portland supports Central City Concern's Hooper Detoxification Center and the van that picks up drunken and disorderly Portlanders to take them to detox. The current city budget allocated about $900,000 for this purpose. But because area hospitals recently withdrew $300,000 in funding for the program, the city and the county have agreed to fill the budget gap with separate $150,000 contributions.

Janus Youth Program: Commissioner Nick Fish pledged in January to help the New Columbia development in North Portland attract a grocery store. Today's emergency ordinance grants $50,000 to the nonprofit Janus Youth Program to create the new Village Market.

 
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